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Chaning Tatum what were you thinking making this dumb film :(
I used to think he could do no wrong...I stand corrected.
This has every ingredient to make a good film. Talented and good looking cast and a perfect love story slash dilemna for a romantic comedy. So what went wrong?
The Vow tells the story of a young couple that fall in love and get married. After a terrible car accident, Paige (rachel McAdams) is left in a coma. When she wakes up she has forgotten the past few years of her life, including her husband Leo (Tatum). As far as she is concerned she is still in law school and living with her family; a family who she has in fact not spoken to in years.
Leo desperately tries to make her remember their life together, but only succeeds in pushing her further away and into the arms of her ex boyfriend. She lashes out in frustration of her situation and treats him so badly that he decides it is best to leave her life for good. But will they both get the happy ever after they so want?
The storyline is brilliant, so why would I never watch this movie again?
The pace is so slow. The characters have no depth or strength; they are just whiny, superficial and shallow, so it is hard to invest in their relationship and root for them. The storyline is similar to The Notebook, but it lacks the chemistry between the main characters. It is also similar to 50 First Dates but lacks any comedy.
Anyone who likes Nicholas Sparks novels will love the storyline but will be begging for more passion.
Starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, The Vow is about a young married couple whose idyllic life comes tumbling down when they are involved a devastating crash.
Channing Tatum is great as a romantic lead, there are better actors out there but he more than holds his own in this role and it doesn't hurt that he is easy on the eye. The same goes for Rachel McAdams as well, she is a fresh breeze after seeing a lot of the same actress' playing the same repetitive roles over the years. The supporting roles, including Jessica Lange and Sam Neill as Paige's parents, lend more weight to the acting calibur of the film as their roles help direct the path of the story.
The story is based on a real life event and it is a more realistic romance/tragedy story than other similar films I have watched. It is simplistic, doesn't get over complicated with adding too much to the overall picture and flows smoothly through all the twists and turns of Paige and Leo trying to rebuild their lives. There isn't any clues as to what will happen at the end, will it all turn out rosy or will they rebuild their lives apart?
If you are fan of romance films then this film is one for you. The story gets straight into it without any messing about and it is subtle twists and turns from then on. Sam Neill is great as the dad who is constantly putting a spanner in the works and Channing Tatum shines as he increasingly becomes desperate, despondant and all the other emotions his character is put through.
Overall it is a one of the better romance movies out there. The storyline is quite different to all the others (that I have seen or read about), the actors are perfect for their roles and the whole package runs smoothly together.
RELEASED: 2012, Cert. 12A
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 105 mins
DIRECTOR: Michael Sucsy
PRODUCERS: Gary Barber, Jonathan Glickman, Paul Taublieb & Roger Birnbaum
SCREENPLAY: Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein
MUSIC: Michael Brook & Rachel Portman
Rachel McAdams as Paige
Channing Tatum as Leo
Sam Neill as Bill
Jessica Lange as Rita
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Paige and Leo are the perfect couple, very much in love. Shortly after marrying, they have a car accident and as a result of her injuries, Paige loses all memory of everything which has happened during the last four years of her life. She can't remember Leo at all, let alone being in love with and marrying him - her last recall point is of living with her parents, studying for a law degree and being engaged to fellow student Jeremy.
As Paige's physical recovery progresses, the appearance and command of her parents (Bill and Rita) seriously thwarts Leo's efforts towards helping her remember him and their made in heaven relationship.
Once I settled into watching The Vow and the storyline was set, I was a little apprehensive over it possibly turning out to be one of those 'slush bucket' productions which plays agonisingly hard on cutesy sentimentality. However, I found the characters of Paige and Leo to be interesting, pleasant and having a refreshing attitude to both life and one another.
The characterisation in this film is good as is the acting (mostly), the cast members interacting smoothly and well....but, perhaps Leo is a little too noble? Do people that nice really exist? I could have done without Jessica Lange though, as she is somebody I find intensely creepy and I don't feel she was right for the role of Paige's cool, yet manipulative, overbearing mother.
Apparently, The Vow is based on a true story and all events contained within the film, came across as feasible to me...even the deeply affectionate bond forged between Paige and Leo; a bond which after the accident still remained just as powerful for Leo, but had been completely wiped out from Paige's memory, her husband, lover and soulmate suddenly being a total stranger to her.
I really liked the romantic aspects of Paige's and Leo's relationship, shown in brief flashback moments after the car accident had occurred, and an interesting wasps' nest of differing expectations regarding Paige's life builds up as Leo has to contend with her parents, who want different things from and for their daughter. Leo is caught up in a situation where Paige's memory stops at the point where her parents want her to continue from in their way, which completely wipes him out of the picture....this dilemma brings up some interesting and difficult thought roads to travel down.
The storyline of The Vow is one which could easily turn into an embarrassingly mawkish debacle, but for the most part it doesn't...although there is one moment towards the end where the violins come out and everything suddenly teeters on the 'tissue box' precipice, but thankfully such is shortlived. Overall, I found The Vow to be largely down to earth, reasonably intelligent and apart from that one instance, free from the cheesy fluffball treatment.
The characters of Leo and Paige are very likeable, even if a little lightweight when it comes to the way they relate to people outside of one another. Their lifestyle is trendy, and I suspect an attempt at portraying a Bohemian element (Leo running his own backstreet recording studio and Paige being an artist/sculptor) was intended, but if that's so, it didn't quite work. Perhaps modern-day life slightly outside of the mainstream box is less jagged than it was in my younger days, which could account for their behaviour and attitude being presented as more conformist than it otherwise could have been.
However, and for me, the main premise in the storyline of The Vow is that of the dilemma created by Paige's memory loss, which leaves Leo out on a limb as he gently but valiantly tries to regain their past together, and everything they had meant to one another, whilst her well-meaning but domineering wealthy parents try to hold Paige's life clock back where they want it to be. After the accident, for Leo it is the next day....but for Paige, it is four years ago.
There are some very touching moments in The Vow, but as said above, they are largely presented in a matter-of-fact way, almost void of sugary schmaltz, which makes this a film that appeals to people such as myself, who are easily bored and embarrassed by insincere displays of emotive gush. Although it perhaps comes across as a little too neat and perfect, I felt warmed by Paige's and Leo's relationship prior to the accident which resulted in Paige's memory loss, and later, Leo's gentle yet concerted and focused efforts to patiently work at helping her remember.
As far as the ending of The Vow is concerned, I think whoever watches and enjoys this film will have different expectations. I was very comfortable with the outcome, and bearing in mind it is supposed to be based on a true story, what actually happened had to be the order of the day....I was fine with that.
Onto the music! I can honestly say that the score for this film is one of the very best that I've experienced. Right from the outset, the music caught me in its net, mesmerising me, and it touched on something right at my very core. It isn't the sort of music that can be easily categorised, other than to say it is soft, soulful, contemporary and far-reaching. One of my favourite tracks by The Cure is used to perfectly close the film down, and apart from one tiny orchestrated little piece during the small section of The Vow where it very temporarily threatens to tip into mawkishness before pulling itself back onto solid ground, the whole score 'wowed' me from one end of the universe to the other.....I'd even go so far as to say that this film is worth watching for the music alone!
I have read some very mixed reviews on the internet of The Vow, and it seems like it is a Marmite case in that you will either love it or hate it....I absolutely loved it, although I would have preferred somebody other than Jessica Lange to have played the part of Paige's mother - that is personal though, as she is somebody I have huge problems with - and overall is insignificant to the quality and my enjoyment of the film as a whole.
In summary, The Vow is a film I'd recommend, especially to people who like something with a strong, yet sensible and intelligent romantic theme, blended with a heartfelt situation of dilemma. Perhaps it may appeal to women more than men....I guess it probably would, but overall and taking everything into account, for me it was 105 minutes very well and enjoyably spent. As far as my star rating is concerned, I feel it deserves the full whack, even with Jessica Lange's presence and the tiny slushy bit....that really only lasting a couple of minutes.
At the time of writing, The Vow can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £3.79 to £24.19
Used: from £2.78 to £10.50
Some items on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
**Film only review**
Directed by Michael Sucsy.
Written by Jason Katims, Abby Kohn, (Screenplay- Stuart Sender and Mark Silverstein)
Channing Tatum - Leo
Rachel McAdams - Paige
Sam Neil - Bill Thornton
Jessica Lange - Rita Thornton
Jessica McNamee - Gwen
The couple...leo and paige are sat in a restaurant enjoying a date night. After their evening they set about going home on their journey they discuss theories and old wives tales on getting pregnant on agreeing to take part in nuptials, they stop the car which is suddenly hit by a van. Paige is then put into a deep coma while in the coma leo spends all his time with her urging her to wake up. When she wakes she fails to recognise her husband due to severe memory loss , leo then has to make her fall in love with him all over again.
I found this film heart breaking and I cried a lot, it makes you cherish what you have and also turn to the love of your life and kiss them for fear of loosing them. If you are planning on watching this I suggest you stock up on tissues, take the phone off the hook, turn the mobile off and insure you are in a quiet environment because you do not want to be disturbed.
After seeing the trailer for this movie, I was pretty keen on seeing this given the lovely Rachel McAdams stars in what appears to be the romantic movie of the year with a dramatic twist.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Madly in love newlyweds Paige (Rachel Mcadams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) end up in a tragic car crash where Paige loses the past four years of her memory, forgetting she ever dropped out of law school, pursued a career in art and having fallen in love and married Leo.
Torn between the life she remembers and the married life she can't recall, Paige is like a completely different person and Leo is desperate to help her remember and make her fall in love with him all over again.
The setup to the plot was extremely pacy and was instantly gripping, with only a short amount of back story. Masked as a rom-com (or that's what I thought it was), the movie turned out to be much more emotional and dramatic then I thought- and rather sad at points.
Whilst many compare this to 'The Notebook' and criticize this for being not as good, I feel that this is in the same genre but is aiming for a different direction and is poignant in its own way. It reminds me much more of 'Just Like Heaven' than anything else.
At just under two hours long, the film did drag on a little bit but doesn't take the typical rom-com route which I like and definitely finished with an upbeat feel good tone.
Rachel McAdams- Paige
Channing Tatum- Leo
Also stars Jessica Lange and Sam Neill as Paige's manipulative parents.
Channing Tatum's hot property in today's Hollywood, and this role definitely helps him secure more roles as his character Leo just seems like the perfect guy- making this movie perfect Tatum propaganda for his fans. Rachel McAdams looked stunning and had a few key memorable scenes but definitely does not beat her performance in 'The Notebook'.
'The Vow' was not as light-hearted as I'd expected but turned out to be an enjoyable and deeper romantic movie which gets you thinking, which is more meaningful than many trashy films out these days. Despite it's length and deeper themes, the movie did end on a high note, which will leave you feeling a bit more optimistic about love.
If you like this movie, check out 'Just Like Heaven' and 'The Notebook'.
The weekend before last I took my little sister to the cinema. At 16 she's not that little any more but I still treat her like she's still a baby and I'm a teenager sometimes! We decided to see The Vow as to be honest we are both madly in love with Channing Tatum! I had no preconceptions about the film, in fact I didn't even know what it was called when we were paying for our tickets, and my sister filled me in on the little she knew about the plot.
Based on a true story, the film follows Leo and Paige and begins with a scene of the couple who are very much in love, and straight away the film is catapulted into chaos as the couple are involved in a car accident. Paige suffers memory loss and has no idea who Leo is. Leo tries his best to help Paige with gaining her memory, but hits many obstacles along the way including the previously absent parents of Paige.
The film is based on a book of the same title by Krickitt Carpenter from Mexico who wrote the book about his own marriage after his wife lost her memory 10 weeks after their wedding in September 1993. Omitted from the film is the couple's faith in Jesus and Christianity which allowed them to try and work at their marriage; however this aspect is not visited in the film at all.
The story follows the couple on the journey together as he tries to help her memory loss by sharing old memories together and creating new ones. Nobody could call this film unoriginal as it is based on real life events, but the story hasn't really been covered in the way many romantic films have. I normally avoid films within this genre where possible, but I really enjoyed it and was eager to see what happened in the end.
Rachel McAdams plays the role of Paige and she plays it very well. Appearing in a few popular romantic films over the last few years including Midnight in Paris, The Time Travellers Wife and The Notebook she seems to have moved away from her Mean Girls part. Aspects of the film reminded me very much of Mean Girls and the role she plays, as Paige returns to her previous life before she met Leo as she tries to remember her identity. She returns to the role of a popular and spoilt high school sorority girl and this reminded me of Mean Girls. As a viewer you get frustrated with her character as she is often stubborn and selfish towards what Leo must be going through, but at the same time you feel for Paige as she has lost all of her memories from the past few years and has to try and connect the dots of her history.
The film follows the story of Paige and her memory loss but also the story behind why her parents were absent from her life before the accident and why they haven't met Leo in the couple of years they have been together. It also shows Leo and the torment he goes through as his wife loses all recollection of him and only remembers being engaged to an ex. Leo is distraught but committed to the fact that he must make his wife fall in love with him once again.
Fans of romantic dramas will enjoy this movie, but for viewers less taken with movies in this genre (like myself) I would urge you to give it a try. The two lead roles played by Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams really make the film, and Tatum's charming character shine through with the subtle charm and funny little moments. It also helps that both characters are absolutely gorgeous, and they both get naked a couple of times too! It was worth the entrance fee just to ogle over Tatum for an hour and a half! The couple work well together and it is obvious that there is some chemistry between them.
The one thing which was massively disappointing about this film was the way it ended. It was just a bit 'meh', neither here or there really! It needed a little more than it gave and I was surprised when the credits came up. Also, I expected to cry at the film (I'm not sure why - I just expected this was a given because of its genre), but there wasn't any tears from either of us!
I really do recommend this film to all. The likeable characters played by Tatum and McAdams, and the plot which is based on true events make the film a thoroughly decent watch, which could only have been improved with the ending. While it isn't going to go down as a modern day romantic drama classic such as The Notebook, it will be remembered for being a decent watch.
Release Date: 10 February 2012.
Newly-weds Leo and Paige suffer a horrifying car accident which leaves her with no memory of the last five years; she can't even remember her husband's face, let alone the life they built together. Faced with the task of having to make his wife fall in love with him for a second time, Leo must do everything he can to remind his wife what made their bond so special, whilst she has to learn how to go forward when all she can remember is the past.
The premise of 'The Vow' embodies everything that I look for in a film; a weepy romance about a couple whose love for each other is tested by forces outside of their control and the need to return to a blissful past even though the present is unclear. It practically begged me not to enjoy it; there was no way that I wasn't going to be swept up in the grandiose schmaltz of it all and the inclusion of Rachel McAdams, the grand queen of the emotional monologue, just cemented the deal. However, half-way through the films running time I realised that I just didn't care. The whole thing is curiously distant, as if the film makers were worried that if the audience connected with the characters too much it would be too heartbreaking to withstand. What should have been a soulful cornball of a movie turns out to be cold and removed; we don't know the characters or their relationship well enough to become invested in their struggle. The audience should feel every emotional beat, but the couple at its core are beautiful blanks - we don't get to see why the protagonist would try so hard to save his marriage because their interactions are so shallow and lightweight. Even the fairly-routine Sandler/Barrymore flick '50 First Dates' fared better in the romance stakes, because at least the audience get to see them fall in love; here we are stranded in limbo.
That may be the main problem; we don't get to see Paige and Leo in love, we get brief glimpses of their first encounter and see largely dialogue-free snippets of subsequent dates but their relationship doesn't mean enough for us to care about it once the accident happens. We are dropped into the action at the point of conflict; she doesn't remember him, he has to woo her all over again. It's a real structural problem because without the anchor of their love the film is an increasingly frustrating empty vessel, people speak in long heart-felt monologues about fate and love but we have nothing to attach them to (also Tatum's narration is pretty laughable). McAdams and Tatum are apart for most of the film and when they are together they aren't in love, they are practically strangers, so it's very hard to be involved in their romantic outcome. The scenes that do work are the ones that let us see the connection that Paige and Leo share; their second first-date is well shot, romantic and passionate enough to give us a glimpse into their previous dynamic and an appropriately swooning backing track. However, it's a sequence between McAdams and Lange that stands as the only true moment of uncalculated sincerity; they genuinely seem like mother and daughter and, whilst discussing a second act twist, bring to the screen an honesty and power that is missing from the rest of the film.
Rachel McAdams is such a pro in this genre and her vulnerable, steady performance is one of the main reasons the film still kind- of works despite its glaring faults. She is such an expressive actress, everything that she is feeling just occupies the space around her and she is manages to pack the biggest emotional wallop. Her character, by necessity, is something of a blank canvas but she plays her with just the right amount of anger, grief and romantic-lead appeal. A couple of scenes, mostly involving Paige's struggle with choosing between a life she doesn't know and the one she is sure of but unhappy in, are genuinely affecting and it is very easy to see why someone would fight for her. Channing Tatum tries really hard, he really give it his all, but is completely miscast as a hipster record producer and never really garners the audiences good-will, despite his very best hang dog impression. He has some good scenes and he certainly brings as much emotion as he can to a, largely, thankless role but there is something stilted about him that makes his various emotional breakdowns inauthentic. Together they don't really ignite much passion and they don't possess the kind of chemistry that would have made the romantic element pop. Jessica Lange is predictably fantastic as a Paige's mum who is keeping a secret and Sam Neill plays the pantomime villain of the piece with aplomb.
Michael Sucsy, who helmed the astonishing HBO drama 'Grey Gardens', does a competent enough job of keeping the film going along but doesn't really instil it with any visual spark or make up for the scripts pacing issues. 'The Vow' looks slick and polished and uses flashbacks to good effect and Sucsy obviously knows how to, well, direct; but like the rest of the film there seems a real lack of affection for the characters and the situation in which they find themselves. He can't quite seem to imbue the film with that grand schmaltz which has guaranteed that 'The Notebook' spins in DVD players across the land every Valentine's day. The film leaves you wanting more; a bigger love story, a tacky chase to the aeroplane finale, a predictable confrontation in the pouring rain - anything to wake it up from its inertia. By the films finale you are practically begging the film to include some eye rolling romantic gesture just so that there is some life in the beast, the ending (like most of the movie) is curiously flat, almost anaemic and, most sinfully, barely romantic. Sucsy does seem to have an eye for staging though; a scene showing Leo's hesitancy to kiss his wife goodbye before work is genuinely funny and sad and the tragic car accident at the centre of the film is recreated in beautiful slow-motion. This sequence is orchestrated almost rhythmically, with Paige's collision with the windscreen taking on an almost dance like sensibility, bringing both the severity of the accident and the confusion of the protagonists home in a stylish, brutal way.
'The Vow' is trying so desperately to be a Nicholas Sparks adaptation but misses the very thing which makes his work so terrible/enjoyable - he possesses no restraint ; in his universe love takes on epic, battle-like proportions. The world conspires against his lovers; the very atmosphere around them pulls them apart and brings them together. Without exception a Sparks movie will be stupid, schmaltzy and dim, but at least that have a sort-of hysterical power. 'The Vow' lacks all of the passion but keeps all of the eye rollingly stupid elements, the players are there but they are moved around robotically; we don't see these films for realism, we see them for escapism and 'The Vow' doesn't offer enough of it.
For those of you that have sat in romantic movies and said to yourself: 'but that wouldn't happen in real life!', may I present to you, The Vow, a true story. The plot line is really simple and yet incredibly moving. Paige and her husband Leo are involved in a serious car accent leaving Paige with severe memory loss. Paige's last memories are when she was engaged to another man, her relationship with her family was great and she was attending law school. Leo is but a stranger to her. Leo is determined to win back Paige's heart and salvage their marriage, but it won't be easy starting anew. Is true love a once in a lifetime opportunity or will Leo be able to make Paige fall back in love with him all over again?
Rachel McAdams has been crowned the 'Rom-Com Queen' so she was really in her element in this movie. It was interesting to see her in a slightly more serious romantic setting, going back to what brought her to stardom in the world of romantic dramas, The Notebook. McAdams' performance in The Vow is incredibly real and moving, drawing the viewer in, making you sympathise with Paige's circumstances even more. You may possibly find yourself quite frustrated with her character at times, but this is just the film drawing you in, willing her to remember the past and her love for Leo.
I have quite mixed views about Channing Tatum. I'm still on the rocks about whether or not I think he's suited to playing serious roles as I commonly associate him with his role in She's The Man. I think that perhaps he could've done a better job, though Channing Tatum has always been good at acting awkward, and there's plenty of awkward in this film. Channing Tatum's character, Leo, is the character that really turns the water works on as ultimately it's him who has lost the love of his life and feels it the most. Whilst of course you feel sympathy towards Paige who is completely disorientated and forced to adapt to her new life, Leo is the one stuck with memories of the past that he cannot possibly erase.
I watched The Vow the day before Valentine's day so obviously I was feeling slightly more vulnerable than usual which is probably why this movie had such a profound effect on me. Though, I'm pretty sure even if I'd been watching this when I was feeling extremely un-romantic with a steely heart it still would've made me crumble inside. The fact that this film is in fact based on a true story stays in the back of your mind throughout the movie and you can't help but imagine the pain that this pair must've gone through in order to salvage their marriage. Everything is heightened when you think that this is the story of someone's life. You won't be sat there thinking, 'this would never happen', because it already has, and that sense of realism is what makes this movie really top notch.
It's not all doom and gloom though! There are some very funny moments in this film too as well as moments that make you want to cry happy tears. There is a good balance between sad and moving and the comical - though it isn't funny harhar - which is good because otherwise I would've no doubt transcended into a serious phase of depression.
Whilst Rotten Tomatoes only gave this film a rating of 28%, we all know film critics are made with hearts of lead so I'm not surprised. If you look at the ratings from ordinary viewers this film has been voted as 3.5/5 stars or higher which is much more positive and I think is a better representation of the reaction to this film. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone and everyone who needs a reminder that true love isn't easy. Prepare yourself for some heartbreaking scenes and bring a box of tissues and a shoulder to cry on.